This 92,000–word novel, “The Masada Complex,” is a thriller in the mold of Nelson DeMille and Daniel Silva, with lots of drama, a touch of history and a modicum of humor, as well as a glimpse at the impasse between Israel and its Arab neighbors.
When retired police detective Dave Rifkin is coerced into taking a trip to Israel with his girlfriend and her Manhattan congregation, he contemplates spending a nice two weeks visiting the historic sites he had always read about – the Western Wall, Masada, Mamshit and the like.
What he does not count on is the fact that Jewish nationalists have targeted his tour group for kidnapping and ritual murder in order to start a race war that would force the Arabs out of Israel and turn it once again into a “great Jewish nation.”
But Rifkin, with his NYPD background, realizes that the group is being surveilled by a man who does not quite fit in. When he sees the same man watching the group at a myriad of tour sites in Israel, and not believing in coincidences, he begins to sense something untoward going on. He mentions his concerns to an Israeli Defense Force officer, who is visiting his grandparents on the tour
Thus starts an adventure that takes him and his fellow senior citizen tourists to a missile attack in Eshkol, a kidnapping in East Jerusalem and an IDF rescue from the Masada Fortress plateau, where, 2,000 years before, Jewish Zealots had died at their own hand rather than submit to capture by the Roman Legion.
Mixing history with action and adventure, the story moves from Jerusalem to Masada, to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, where the terrorists have planted a bomb, and finally, to the Western Wall, the holiest site for Jews, where the adventure ends unexpectedly and violently.
A retired teacher and newspaper editor, I am the author of eight books for teenage middle and senior high school students, including a two-volume series of U.S. History books, and one adult novel, “American 587 Heavy,” another fact-based novel.